Wee Play's Community Mural Project Needs Kids To Help Paint!

Wee Play Project is excited to collaborate with local artist and educator Joe Pimentel on a community mural at Memorial Park this Summer! For two weeks in August (Aug 12-16 & Aug 19-23) they will be painting all four sides of the bathroom building located right near the parking lot to the main city park and playground.

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Joe has worked with kids on numerous collaborative murals across the Hudson Valley, including recent murals at Glenham Elementary, Sargent Elementary, Rombout Middle, and the Beacon High School. Wee Play is thrilled to have the chance to work with Joe and sure hope you can come get creative with them! To learn more about this project and sign up, click here!

Accepting Photos: Spirit Of Beacon Day 2019 Juried Photo Exhibit

Photo Credit: Howland Public Library

Photo Credit: Howland Public Library

The Howland Public Library Calls For Photography:
Show Us The Spirit of Beacon!

The Spirit of Beacon Day is a citywide celebration for the community of Beacon, NY, held annually since 1977 on the last Sunday of September. The parade and festival highlight local community groups, volunteer organizations and schools, all joining together with local businesses on Beacon's vibrant Main Street. A day to bring the city together, especially the children and youth. Members of the community should get to know one another better, learn to know what each other likes through conversation, feelings, entertainment, education, and food.

The Howland Public Library wants to know: “What does The Spirit of Beacon mean to you?”

The Howland Public Library and the Spirit of Beacon Day Committee are looking for photographs that best capture the essence of The Spirit of Beacon. What makes our community so unique? Can you capture it in an image? Is it the beautiful mountains, the historic architecture, the connection to the river, the vibrant community, all of the above, or something else? Share your vision with us! Photographers of ALL ages and skill levels are invited to submit their original photos.

Selected photos will be exhibited in the Community Room Exhibit Space at the Howland Public Library in Beacon, NY, during the month of September as part of the Spirit of Beacon celebration. A reception for the community will be held on Second Saturday, September 14.

How to Enter

  • Email up to three of your photos that you feel best capture the Spirit of Beacon for consideration to communityart@beaconlibrary.org.

  • Images should be in jpeg format. Maximum file size 1MB. Name your files as follows: Last Name + First name + underscore + title.jpg. Example: SmithJohn_MountBeacon.jpg.

  • In your email, please include the following information for each photo, 1) the title, 2) location and 3) year taken (approximate.)

Deadline

All entries must be received by Thursday, August 1.

Selection

The winning entries will be selected by a committee and all photographers will be notified by Saturday, August 10, if one of their photos has been accepted into the show.

Delivery

Photographs (unframed, prints only) must be dropped off at the Howland Public Library between Friday, September 6 and Sunday, September 8. All photos should be printed 8” x 10” or 8” x 8” for square images.

If you need help printing your photo, reach out to Accuprint on Main Street, next to Isamu Sushi.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Notification of Acceptance: No later than Wednesday, August 7.
Accepted Photos Delivered to Howland Public Library: Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 8.
Exhibition Dates: Saturday, September 14, to Saturday, October 5.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14, 5 to 7 pm.

City of Beacon Hosts Citizen Preparedness Training Class - Thursday, August 8, 2019

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With severe weather events becoming more frequent and more extreme, it is more important than ever that New Yorkers are prepared for disasters. Remember the macroburst storms that came through the area last year? How can we forget! The NY Citizen Preparedness Corps Training Program teaches residents to have the tools and resources ready to go, to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly and recover as quickly as possible to get back to pre-disaster conditions. The City of Beacon will be hosting a Citizen Preparedness Training Class on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm.

The class will cover training for natural and human-made disasters, and will include active shooter training. Participants will be advised on how to properly prepare for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies.

Training will take place at the Lewis Tompkins Hose, 13 South Avenue in Beacon. To RSVP, contact Collin Milone at (845) 838-5010 or email cityofbeacon@cityofbeacon.org. For more information about this training and other training events, visit prepare.ny.gov/.

Tampons and Pads Are In The Budget As Normal Bathroom Needs In New York State

Photo Credit: Kayleigh Metviner

Photo Credit: Kayleigh Metviner

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, whose district includes the Hudson Highlands, personally spent $37.16 of his own money to supply restrooms at his office with tampons, as reported by the Highlands Current. However, the first time he submitted that $37.16 as an expense for reimbursement, he was denied. According to the article, the Committee on House Administration told Maloney “that tampons were not office supplies but personal-care items that did not qualify for reimbursement.”

Recognizing that [pads and tampons] are just another bathroom supply is recognizing that women’s needs are human needs.
— Kayleigh (Metviner) Zaloga

That was in July of 2018. In February 2019, after an election changed the balance in the U.S. House of Representatives, Maloney challenged this logic, resubmitted the expense, and won. Members of the U.S. House can now purchase feminine hygiene products for their offices. The House Office Supply Store will also stock the feminine hygiene supplies.

According to a quote in that Highlands Current article, Maloney stated: “I want to make sure every office on the Hill is welcoming to female staff and visitors — and thanks to the generosity of the American people, they will be,” the Democrat said in a statement. “This issue is part of a much larger discussion about women’s rights in the workplace and the way women’s needs are treated.”

“We're Lucky That Men Sometimes Need Toilet Paper.”

While Maloney’s move is at the federal level, we reached out to a state worker and writer for A Little Beacon Blog, Kayleigh (Metviner) Zaloga, who added that pads and tampons had also been added to state offices this year as well. She provided the photos used in this article as proof that the feminine hygiene products had arrived and had been set up.

“I think it's an important step in the march toward gender equality,” said Kayleigh. “Sounds dramatic, I know, but the need for feminine hygiene products is simply non-negotiable, so recognizing that they are just another bathroom supply is recognizing that women's needs are human needs. If men needed pads and tampons, we wouldn't even be discussing whether or not they were included in the category of bathroom supplies. We're lucky that men sometimes need toilet paper, so it's been stocked in all bathrooms by default.”

New York School Districts Required To Supply Free Feminine Hygiene Products In Bathrooms

In July 2018, New York State law required school districts to supply feminine hygiene products for free in schools serving grades six to twelve. This was part of Governor Cuomo’s Women's Opportunity Agenda.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded school leaders of a new law requiring all school districts, serving students grades six through twelve, to provide free feminine hygiene products in restrooms. As the school year begins, this new law will ensure all young women across the State have equal access to these essential products.

The governor sees this as “a step in addressing the issue of inequality and stigma. As the school year begins, we're reminding school districts to make sure that these items are provided to students.” Additionally mentioned in the governor’s press release reminding schools to supply these resources: “Research from the World Bank demonstrates that girls' inability to manage their menstrual hygiene in school results in absenteeism, which in turn has severe economic costs on their lives.”

It should be noted that even teachers and staff need feminine hygiene products just as much as they do toilet paper and paper towels to wipe hands after washing. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s move to make these products normal in the bathrooms of politicians’ offices may have a normalizing effect in many other areas.

Schedule For Beacon's Cooling Centers This Weekend During The Heat Wave

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The City of Beacon has put out a schedule of Designated Cooling Centers for this weekend, July 19 to July 21. The list is below.

If you see someone who needs assistance, possibly point them in the direction of the nearest Cooling Center, or call the Beacon Police to get assistance to help move them there. We have encountered people in electric wheelchairs that have dead batteries, and were thankful when the Beacon Police intervened to help to move this person to a better place.

Be mindful of dogs in cars, people in cars (overheating in a car can happen fast during heat waves, so be careful), dogs outside, hot pavement, etc.

Howland Public Library
313 Main Street
Friday: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm
Sunday: 12 pm to 4 pm

Salvation Army
372 Main Street
Friday: 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday: NA
Sunday: 9 am to 1 pm and 5 to 9 pm

Beacon Recreation Center
23 West Center Street
Friday: 2 to 4 pm

Beacon Housing Authority
Monday to Thursday 10 am to 2 pm, seniors only
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Residents only

Mase Hook and Ladder
435 Main Street
Friday to Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm

Beacon Engine
57 East Main Street
Friday to Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm

Lewis Tompkins
13 South Avenue
Friday to Sunday: 11 am to 4 pm

If You Hear An Air Raid Horn... Test Alarm Sounding At 2 pm For Beaconites

Maybe you got the memo (translation: text/email/phone call) from the City of Beacon that the Groveville Hydroelectric Project will be testing its alarm system during the dam’s rehabilitation. “Tomorrow [Wednesday], July 17 at 2 pm you will hear a test alarm from the Groveville Hydroelectric Project. This is simply a step in the dam’s rehabilitation. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

We reached out to the City of Beacon’s City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero, to find out what it might sound like. He thought it might sound “closer to an air raid horn.”

Sound up!

The Mobile Farmers Market From Common Greens Opens Wednesdays At 2 Community Locations

The Common Green Mobile Farmers Market, open Wednesdays from July - September, 2019.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

The Common Green Mobile Farmers Market, open Wednesdays from July - September, 2019.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

COMMON GREENS MOBILE MARKET TIMES

Beacon’s Community Health Center on Henry Street
Wednesdays, 11 am to 12:30 pm

Forrestal Heights, in Parking Lot #2
Next to the Senior Friendship Center
Wednesdays, 1 to 2 pm

July - September 2019

The green bus of Common Greens’ Mobile Farmers Market has been seen powering up and down Beacon’s streets, making its way to its two parking lot destinations every Wednesday from July to September! The program’s mission is to reach low-income families in the City of Beacon with farm-fresh produce directly from Common Ground’s farm located on Route 9D.

The two locations are Beacon’s Community Health Center parking lot on Henry Street (Wednesdays, 11 am to 12:30 pm), and Forrestal Heights, in Parking Lot #2, next to the Senior Friendship Center (Wednesdays, 1 to 2 pm). The Common Greens Mobile Farmers Market accepts WIC, FMNP, EBT/SNAP, and Greens 4 Greens. The currency known as Greens 4 Greens is also accepted at the Beacon Farmers Market on Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm at Veterans Place.

According to Common Ground’s website, their produce is reaching the low-income families it is targeting: “In 2017, a combined total of over 2,000 pounds of produce from Common Ground and the Green Teen gardens was sold at the Common Greens market, and 61% of mobile market sales were made using some form of food benefit, which is an indication that the market is reaching our target population.”

Common Greens Mobile Farmers Market was created in partnership with Green Teen Community Gardening Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County. The County of Dutchess partially funds Cooperative Extension in Dutchess County.

Dear Everyone: Please Stop Doing U-Turns On Main Street!

OMG y’all - people of Beacon and those visiting Beacon - this Monday you are up on your U-turns on Brett Street on Main Street (right by Key Food)! It’s not a good idea!

More U-turns happen at Cliff Street and Main Street, and I’m sure in more areas of town that others have seen.

Seriously - just figure out another way to turn around. Go around a block, maybe.

Oh, and passing a car who is parallel-parking is not legal if you’d have to cross a double-yellow or single-yellow line to pass. We checked with the Beacon police, and if you pass on a solid yellow line on your side, that will get you a ticket. The reason I know this is because I was jay-walking (also wrong, eeks, I know), and a car wasn’t expecting a pedestrian there while they were peeling around the parking car, so they almost flattened me.

So be careful, and patient. Let’s all do better.

Beacon Opts Not To Kill The Geese; But Larchmont Does Kill The Geese On Wednesday, Granting Access To Private Residents Of Larchmont Gardens

It sounded a little unusual when the USDA Wildlife Services came to Beacon to propose to the City Council to round up, kill, and serve as food at shelters between 50 and 63 geese from Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park - in the name of protecting flights at Stewart Airport. The City Council heard the proposal, mostly responded that they were not comfortable with it, and passed on the pitch, effectively a polite but firm, “No thank you.”

Today, the Larchmont Loop, an online newspaper covering Larchmont in Westchester, reported that Canada geese were systematically killed at Larchmont Gardens early Wednesday morning. “The Town of Mamaroneck confirms the USDA euthanized a number of Canada geese on and around the Duck Pond in Larchmont Gardens early Wednesday morning.” Larchmont is a village located within the Town of Mamaroneck in Westchester County, New York, approximately 18 miles northeast of Midtown Manhattan, according to Wikipedia.

In Larchmont, the USDA Wildlife Services came out in kayaks, rounded up the birds into a truck, drove them away, and processed them into food to serve at local food shelters. That method was the same proposal Beacon heard on Monday.

According to the article: “Private residents of the Larchmont Gardens neighborhood contracted with the USDA to remove the geese,” said a spokesperson for the Town. “It is a private contract, the Town just allowed them on Town property.”

Apparently Systematic Killing Of A Species In The Name Of Something Is A Thing

While the killing, otherwise known as “culling,” wasn’t something the City Council normally hears proposals on, contracting with the USDA APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) to do this has been happening. One reason it is happening right now this week is because the geese are in a “molt” stage, which means that their flight feathers have fallen out and they are sitting ducks for three weeks, unable to take flight.

For more information on Canada geese, their living habits, and on this program, see the earlier article A Little Beacon Blog wrote about it here.

Protection Of Geese - Until They Are Too Much And Killed

The Department of Environmental Conservation states that Canada geese are protected, but:

“All Canada geese, including resident flocks, are protected by Federal and State laws and regulations. In New York, management responsibility for Canada geese is shared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). It is illegal to hunt, kill, sell, purchase, or possess migratory birds or their parts (feathers, nests, eggs, etc.) except as permitted by regulations adopted by USFWS and DEC.'“

The DEC also does not allow the relocation of Canada geese at any point in the year, with or without a permit. At the Beacon presentation, the reasoning provided was that Canada geese prefer to come back to where they were hatched, and grow their families there.

One round of taking and killing the geese would not seem to do the trick, and in theory, would need to be repeated every year, for at least three years because when the females turn three years old, they are known to return to the place that they hatched, and lay their own eggs.

Once a pond or river is clear of geese, say, if they have been removed and killed each year for three years, would new geese settle there? During Beacon’s presentation, the USDA APHIS Services said that there are 250,000 Canada geese in New York, and their target number is 85,000.

That is a lot of exterminating.

PERSONAL NOTE: Just like with mice prevention in a house, I would probably get a cat, and vacuum and mop my floors. In the case of geese, if I elected to live near a pond or river where geese like to settle, I would probably get a dog, build a fence (to keep the dog in), and let the dog have geese play time.

Canada Geese Identified For Extermination At Beacon's Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park

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The City of Beacon has been contacted by the Air National Guard out of Stewart Air Force Base, requesting to remove an estimated 63 Canada geese from Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park in Beacon, just north of the Metro-North train station. (50 geese were mentioned during the Workshop Meeting to the City Council on 6/24/2019). The possible removal plan would exterminate them, then serve them as food at food banks. “Goose removal is part of their airport safety to prevent another US Airways Flight 1549 event,” according to a memorandum/proposal submitted by Beacon’s City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero, MPA.

That flight event happened in 2009 in New York City, when pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles glided a plane into the Hudson River after a flock of geese flew into the engines. Geese are large flocking birds. “That’s why they present such a hazard to the flying aircraft,” said one of the presenters of the program during the Beacon meeting. It is estimated that there are 230,000 Canada geese now in New York state, and the New York State DEC has set 85,000 Canada geese as the preferred number.

Presenting this program were Kenneth E. Eggleston, Biological Science Technician with the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services; Ken Cruiser, Eastern District Supervisor with USDA Wildlife Services; and Lieutenant Colonel Cooper, Chief of Safety at Stewart International Guard Base and Instructional Pilot C17.

Councilperson Terry Nelson asked if this program was in response to a specific incident at Stewart. Lieutenant Colonel Cooper answered: “At Stewart, just with the military aircraft, we only fly about six times a week. We average a bird strike every month. Total cost to the Air Force since ’94 or ’95 has been about $580,000.”

Is Exterminating The Geese The Only Way To Remove Them?

Other methods to reduce the number of geese include rubbing the eggs with oil, which prevents air exchange to the embryo, thus ending the embryo’s life cycle.

According to the presenters, geese live an average of 26 years. Mating age for females is 3 years old. At that age, the female geese tend to return to the place they where they hatched, and lay their own eggs. A female Canada goose can birth 100 baby geese (goslings) in her lifetime.

Other methods in use include habitat management, like putting grid systems over the ponds at Stewart. Relocation of herded geese wasn’t recommended as an option, as the geese prefer to stay where they are, and are known to return to where they were born or had resided.

Councilperson Amber Grant asked for data as to the effectiveness of this deterrent. Non-lethal methods such as harassment by dogs, lasers, and pyrotechnical approaches pushes birds out three miles, which the presenters did not think would be enough. Councilperson Grant also asked about safety of consuming the birds, wild animals who have not had any kind of disease prevention. Presenter Ken answered that wild animals are known to be eaten by hunters and “others.”

Has Goose Removal Happened Elsewhere?

In a response to a question asked by Councilperson George Mansfield, other municipalities have exercised this removal method, but the presenters at the meeting would not disclose which municipalities, citing privacy.

Regarding Long Dock Park (just to the south of Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park), owned by Scenic Hudson, the presenters have reached out to Scenic Hudson and left messages, but Scenic Hudson has not returned their calls, according to the presenters.

Why Now To Take The Geese?

According to the presenters, now is the preferred time to round up the geese, as they are going through a “molting” phase, where they lose their primary flight feathers, essentially grounding them from flight for three weeks around the summer solstice. While the birds cannot fly, they are herded into a penned area, placed into poultry crates, and brought to facilities to exterminate and process them into food. Goose meat is then brought to food shelters in the region for people to eat as part of hot meals.

Prevention Of Geese, And The Outcome

Ongoing prevention of Canada geese at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park was not discussed. There is a known problem of excessive amounts of goose poop at that park. Dogs on leashes are banned at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. Which is contrary to the allowance of dogs at other public parks in New York State and in New York City, where people are accustomed to bringing dogs on leashes. Dogs are allowed on leashes at Long Dock Park. While geese can pose problems to dogs when they are threatened, perhaps the consideration of leashed dogs can be entertained, at the very least, to curb some goose poop.

While most members of the City Council were not comfortable with the extermination, the decision would not need a resolution in order to move forward. (Translation: Councilpeople would not be voting on this; it would only need a signature on a form.) According to the City Manager, this program has not occurred in Beacon in years past, “to the best of my knowledge,” he responded by email to A Little Beacon Blog’s inquiry. But “the City Council was not in favor,” he responded by email.

UPDATE 6/25/2019: A Little Beacon Blog received confirmation the day after this proposal at the 6/24/2019 City Council Meeting that the proposal to exterminate the geese “will not move forward” according to City Manager Anthony Ruggiero. The City Manager has also confirmed that the geese are not pegged to be relocated. Such a relocation would need city approval, he said.

EDIT 6/25/19: In the first version of this article, this goose was referred to as “Canadian.” A reader wrote in to let us know that the bird is called the Canada goose. That word has been edited.

RELATED GEESE NEWS, 6/26/2019: Larchmont, down in Westchester, did participate in killing the geese near a pond, as reported by the Larchmont Loop. The business was contracted by private citizens and the municipality approved access to public property to carry out the taking of the geese.

Muslims Celebrate Eid In Beacon For End Of Ramadan

Photo Credit: Junior ZayEd

Photo Credit: Junior ZayEd

Junior Zayed pictured with his daughters, who decided to dress up, including scarves, during Ramadan.  Photo Credit: Junior Zayed

Junior Zayed pictured with his daughters, who decided to dress up, including scarves, during Ramadan.
Photo Credit: Junior Zayed

Today was a celebration of the end of Ramadan for Muslims, and the community was celebrating and praying in Beacon. Said one local, Junior Zayed in his Instagram along with this photo pictured above: “We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We would like to thank the City of Beacon Police Department for being here with us while we pray in peace in our place of worship with our families, friends and community.”

More About Eid: Izzy Tells Us

To learn more about Eid, we reached out to A Little Beacon Blog writer Izdihar Dabashi. She explains what Beacon Muslims have been doing today, and why: “Muslims have two Eid holidays: Today is Eid Al-Fitr, which is the first day to break fast following the holy month of Ramadan. Eid Al-Fitr celebrates the completion of Ramadan. We start the day by praying at the mosque for Allah (God) to accept our fast, charity, and good deeds during Ramadan. Each Muslim person donates money to the poor, and it’s common for people to send money to feed the poor or slaughter (in a humane and clean method, which makes it halal) a lamb to feed the poor. Eid is spent with family, some of us go to the park, others to restaurants, some choose to just stay at home and have family over.

“Muslims in Beacon prayed the Eid prayer around 9:30 am today. The Beacon Police actually parked across the street from Masjid Ar-Rashid to keep watch over the mosque. Many of us greatly appreciate their efforts and peaceful involvement in the Muslim community.”

According to Izdihar, if you are passing someone who is recognizing the day, you could say to them: “Eid Mubarak” or even just “Happy Eid.”

More About Ramadan

We invited Izdihar to explain Ramadan in her own words, to help connect the holidays:

“Ramadan is the holy month of Islam. It is a month of fast from sunrise to sundown. Muslims not only restrain from food and drink, but also from unnecessary distractions to your faith and community such as music, excessive attention to appearance and/or TV, etc.

“During this month, your fast will not be accepted if you are unkind to someone, use foul language, rude or aggressive behavior, etc. You try to limit bad deeds, and focus on consistently committing good deeds. It is a month meant to be experienced in peace, and connect you to Allah (God) as well as the people around you.

“Muslims donate food and money to the poor. Some will try to focus on a family to actively feed. Each night, Muslims who are able to make it to the mosque after sundown will pray Ramadan prayers to ask for forgiveness, peace and relief in the world, and whatever else an individual would like to pray for.

“The purpose of Ramadan is to connect you to your faith, and community. It teaches a Muslim empathy for the hungry, and makes them conscious of their role in community and earth in general. A proper Muslim role is meant to be filled with peace, generosity, kindness, and humbleness.”

Open Letter From I Am Beacon Re Mental Health Information In Dutchess County

The week before the Rock Out 4 Mental Health concert, Brooke Simmons from I Am Beacon circulated this Open Letter to all of her contacts, in the hopes that it would reach far and wide. We are publishing it here as well to help make that happen:

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Dear Neighbors, Allies, Friends, and Family,

As we celebrate our veterans this Memorial Day weekend and close out Mental Health Awareness month this May, please take a moment to reflect on your service to the community.

In recent years, we seen far too many families fractured by issues related to mental health.

With 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiencing a mental illness and 50% of all cases beginning by age 14 it is critical that begin to recognize mental health impacts us all.

When it comes to the Hudson Valley, it is our belief that our area is services rich yet information poor.

Despite the valiant efforts of many organizations addressing mental health there is a lack of awareness and knowledge which result in many in our community being left to suffer in silence.

With our upcoming event, Rock Out 4 Mental Health, it is our vision to bridge the gap between the community and available services in order to highlight the importance of knowing where to go for help and to empower individuals to take action in order to help themselves or others.

In addition to learning about services, there will also be free, walk-up NARCAN training providing by Dutchess County giving all participants the ability to be certified in administering this life saving treatment.

I Am Beacon believes in the power of a collaborative effort to address issues impacting our community.

It is my ask of you, to come out on June 1st 12PM– 4PM at Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park - Beacon, NY.

Join us in ending the silence and taking the first step toward a better tomorrow for all Hudson Valley residents.

With gratitude and many thanks,
Brooke M. Simmons, I Am Beacon
www.facebook.com/iambeacon
***Please note Rain Date: Sunday, June 2

When A Stranger Walks Through Your Door - Who Needs Mental Health Help - And The Concert Is Saturday

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Last Friday, while in the midst of our weekly deadline for getting out the Happening This Weekend newsletter, a woman walked into A Little Beacon Blog's office, looking for help. She thought it was the substance abuse center, Lexington Center for Recovery (though she couldn’t remember the name and had contact information for a totally different organization), that had been located down Main Street, that is now becoming an apartment building. She saw the Rock Out 4 Mental Health flyer on our door, and the logos of mental health agencies who are helping make it happen, and thought she was in the right place.

She hadn't slept for days. Her accent was unfamiliar. The urgent problem she was trying to get help for - keeping her husband alive (he was currently in the hospital after almost dying of alcoholism, and she feared him coming home because she didn't know what to do with him to keep him safe) - made it so that she talked very fast, with hopelessness. Her sentences zig-zagged with what she needed, making it hard to find a thread to follow to work on a solution. She'd given up hope of finding help from Beacon and any other resource, and didn't know where to go.

Sometimes a situation happens, and you ask yourself: "Am I to be learning something from this? What is the message?" It became an opportunity for us to navigate the world of mental health resources, with a real person, really suffering. A Little Beacon Blog agreed to help with the Rock Out 4 Mental Health concert because it was an opportunity to meet the players, to talk to the people on the other side of the phone or email or website. To make them more real, and understand what they offer. That concert happens this Saturday (unless it rains, then it’ll be on Sunday) at Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park from 12 to 4 pm. It's free, and there will be mozzarella sticks (and other food like sausage), live music, and specialists in the areas of mental health.

Meanwhile, back in the office on a Friday afternoon of Memorial Weekend, we called the Dutchess County Help Line. They answered, but our questions quickly multiplied. When you're at the beginning of a research journey navigating hospitals, counseling, rehab centers, it's a lot. We called a personal friend who works deep in the world of mental health, and she quickly referred us to Family Services in Beacon on Henry Street, and to the MHA in the DMV Building on Main Street, and to Grace Smith House if the woman felt too afraid to be home, plus they may be able to give her guidance if she were to go there. Another friend recommended NAMI if she needed an advocate or counselor to help her navigate the medical areas where she was encountering hurdles, while trying to figure out what to do with her addicted husband who had just had a blood transfusion and was a hot potato in the hospital - she didn't want him released, yet they were done with their medical procedures.

In the end - for that hour - we encouraged her to walk to Family Services which is nearby, and see what they tell her next. In-person research is so important. We then highly encouraged her to go home and get some rest, because sleep deprivation causes its own problems. She first headed across the street to the grocery store to get cat food, and then to Family Services. Hopefully she felt a little more hope in her quest.

Come to the concert this weekend. You'll get to hear The Costellos, Noetic, Dilson Hernandez, Tony E., Charge the Mound, Russ St. George, Jerry Kitzrow, DJ Big Will, with sound by Tony ‘Pops’ DeMarco. You never know when you or someone you know or don't know needs these services. It's comforting to put faces to organizations.

2019 Memorial Day Parade and Service in Beacon, NY

The Dutchess Reformed Church of Beacon, 1113 Wolcott Avenue (9D). Photo Credit: Google

The Dutchess Reformed Church of Beacon, 1113 Wolcott Avenue (9D).
Photo Credit: Google

To participate in remembrances and to show appreciation for those who served, you can attend Beacon’s Memorial Day Parade at 1pm (lineup at 12pm noon at City Hall on 9D). The parade stages on 9D (Wolcott Avenue) and goes on Main Street.

The Memorial Service will be after the parade at approximately 2pm or 2:15pm, “To give everyone a chance to get here,” says parade organizer Tony Lasseter. Beacon’s Memorial Building at 413 Main Street (across from Chase Bank).

Beacon’s Memorial Building, 413 Main Street, Beacon, NY. Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Beacon’s Memorial Building, 413 Main Street, Beacon, NY.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Applications Open For Dia Teens Art Program - Free For All Participants

High school students are able to enroll in this summer’s Dia Teens Art Program (online application is here), a free program for all participants that includes lunches, snacks, materials, and in-program transportation. Dia Teens is a program that offers young people the space, freedom, and support to make their ideas real. The deadline for applying is Sunday, May 26, 2019.

Teens collaborate with others, including an appointed artist-in-residence “artist ally,” to work on original, self-directed projects. In addition to art-making, teens learn and practice skills related to critical thinking and self-expression. They will identify, question and challenge ideas related to contemporary art.

“Some make art, some channel their creativity in other ways,” according to the online application at Dia Beacon. Fifteen high school students from across the Hudson Valley will be selected. Visiting artists facilitate workshops, participate in discussions, host teens in their studio and gallery spaces, lead critiques, and invite teens to participate in their own projects. Past guest artists include Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Mary Mattingly, and Sal Randolph, as well as teens from the Studio Museum in Harlem, New Museum, and Park Avenue Armory.

The Dia Teens art program lasts all year, with a Summer Intensive from July 8 to August 8, 2019, and picks up again in October 2019 for the entire school year.

Dia Teens is at based at Dia:Beacon, 3 Beekman St., Beacon, New York, 12508. The museum and parking lot overlook the Hudson River. If you haven’t been down there yet, do go. The scenery is incredible.

To apply to Dia Teens: Visit this link. Students must be enrolled in high school.

Deadline: Sunday, May 26, 2019.